Life cycle assessment of railways and rail transports - Application in environmental product declarations (EPDs) for the Bothnia Line

Environmental aspects are today highly important issues in the transport sector especially from a society perspective. Most likely, our society is facing considerable changes in the transport sector due to changes in the energy/environmental situation in the future. Strategic decisions concerning the development of the transport sector must be based on solid facts concerning both the transport infrastructure and the transport traffic on the infrastructure. The transport infrastructure is often complex and difficult to analyse but of great interest in a society perspective. In this project, we have performed a comprehensive view of a modern railway infrastructure system including the traffic on the infrastructure. A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology has been used for the study and several LCA models of the railway system have been designed. Due to the complexity of the models, several general railway component models have been developed. The component models can then be integrated to form a large model of an entire railway system. The component models (sub-models) are: ' Railway track foundation model ' Railway track model ' Railway electric power and control system model ' Railway tunnel model ' Railway bridge model ' Railway passenger station and freight terminal model ' Passenger and freight train model including train operation The LCA models have then been used to analyse the environmental performance of the Bothnia Line and to develop Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for the Bothnia Line.

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Last updated: 2021-05-05

IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute

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IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute has a wide environmental profile. We combine applied research and development with close collaboration between industry and the public sphere. Our consultancy is evidence-based, and our research is characterized by interdisciplinary science and system thinking.


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